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English words of Dutch origin



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This is a list of words of Dutch language origin. However, note that this list does also include some words of which the etymology is uncertain, and that some may have been derived from Middle Low German equivalents instead or as well. Some of these words, such as cookie and boss and aardvark, are without a doubt of Dutch origin. But, many of these words are similar not because they are Dutch loan words, but because English, like Dutch, is a Germanic language. Some of these words lack a counterpart in modern Dutch, having been lost since the time it was borrowed.

  • literally: the literal meaning of the Dutch word (the actual meaning is similar to the English one)
  • originally: the word originally had the meaning specified, but is in Dutch also used with the same meaning as in English

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

Aardvark 
from Afrikaans Dutch, literally "earth-pig" (the animal burrows), from aard (="earth") + vark (="pig")[1]
Afrikaans 
from Afrikaans (via Afrikaans) (="African" adj.)
Ahoy 
from hoi (="hello")
Aloof 
from a- + Middle English loof (="weather gage," also "windward direction"), probably from Dutch loef (="the weather side of a ship"); originally a nautical order to keep the ship's head to the wind, thus to stay clear of a lee-shore or some other quarter, hence the figurative sense of "at a distance, apart" [2]
Anchor 
"liquid measure," that of Rotterdam, once used in England, from Dutch [3]
Apartheid 
from Afrikaans apartheid (literally "separateness"), from Dutch apart (="separate") + suffix -heid (cognate of English -hood) [4]
Avast 
a nautical interjection (="hold! stop!"), probably worn down from Dutch houd vast (="hold fast")[5]

B

Bamboo 
from Dutch bamboe, from Portuguese bambu, earlier mambu (16th century), probably from Malay samambu, though some suspect this is itself an imported word [6]
Bantam 
after Bantam, former Dutch residency in Java, from which the small domestic fowl were said to have been first imported [7]
Batik 
from Dutch, from Malay mbatik (="writing, drawing") [8]
Bazooka 
"metal tube rocket launcher," from name of a junkyard musical instrument used as a prop by U.S. comedian Bob Burns, extension of bazoo (slang for "mouth" or "boastful talk"), probably from Dutch bazuin (="trumpet") [9]
Beaker 
from beker [10] (="mug, cup")
Beleaguer 
from belegeren (="besiege, attack with an army") [11]
Berm 
from French berme, from Old Dutch baerm (in Dutch, the English meaning is now archaic, berm being used as "usually grassy ground alongside a road") [12]
Bicker 
"a skirmish, fight," bikern, probably from Middle Dutch bicken (="to slash, stab, attack") + -er, Middle English frequentative suffix [13]
Blare 
blèren (="to wail"), possibly from an unrecorded Old English *blæren, or from Middle Dutch bleren (="to bleat, cry, bawl, shout") [14]
Blasé 
from French blasé, past participle of blaser (="to satiate"), origin unknown; perhaps from Dutch blazen (="to blow"), with a sense of "puffed up under the effects of drinking" [15]
Blaze (to make public, often in a bad sense, boastfully) 
from Middle Dutch blasen (="to blow, on a trumpet) [16]
Blink 
from Middle Dutch blinken (="to glitter") [17]
Blister 
from Old French blestre, perhaps from a Scandinavian source or from Middle Dutch blyster (="swelling") [18]
Block (solid piece) 
from Old French bloc (="log, block"), via Middle Dutch bloc (="trunk of a tree") or Old High German bloh [19]
Blow (hard hit) 
blowe, from northern and East Midlands dialects, perhaps from Middle Dutch blouwen (="to beat") [20]
Bluff (poker term) 
perhaps from Dutch bluffen (="to brag, boast") or verbluffen (="to baffle, mislead") [21]
Bluff (landscape feature) 
from Dutch blaf (="flat, broad"), apparently a North Sea nautical term for ships with flat vertical bows, later extended to landscape features [22]
Blunderbuss 
from Dutch donderbus, from donder (="thunder") + bus (="gun," originally "box, tube"), altered by resemblance to blunder [23]
Boer 
(="Dutch colonist in South Africa") from Dutch boer (="farmer"), from Middle Dutch [24]
Bogart 
after Humphrey Bogart[25]. Bogart means "(keeper of an) orchard"[26].
Boodle 
perhaps from Dutch boedel (="property") [27]
Boom 
from boom (="tree"); cognate to English beam, German baum[28]
Boomslang 
via Afrikaans from boomslang (="tree snake")
Booze 
from Middle Dutch busen (="to drink in excess"); [29] according to JW de Vries busen is equivalent to buizen [1]
Boss 
from baas [30]
Bow (front of a ship) 
from boeg [31]
Brackish 
from Scottish brack, from Middle Dutch brak (="salty," also "worthless") [32]
Brandy (wine) 
from brandewijn (literally "burnt wine") [33]
Brawl 
from brallen [34]
Brooklyn 
after the town of Breukelen near Utrecht [35]
Bully 
from boel (="lover," "brother"), from Middle High German buole, maybe influenced by bull[36].
Bulwark 
from bolwerk [37]
Bundle 
from Middle Dutch bondel (=diminutive of bond), from binden "bind," or perhaps a merger of this word and Old English byndele (="binding") [38]
Bumpkin
from bommekijn (="little barrel") [39]
Bung 
from Middle Dutch bonge (="stopper"), or perhaps from French bonde, which may be of Germanic origin, or from Gaulish bunda [40]
Buoy 
from boei (="shackle" or "buoy") [41]
Bush (uncleared district of a British colony) 
probably from Dutch bosch, in the same sense, since it seems to appear first in former Dutch colonies [42]

C

Caboose 
from kambuis or kombuis (="ship's kitchen", "galley") [43]
Cam 
from Dutch cam (="cog of a wheel," originally "comb"), cognate of English comb
Clove (disambiguation) 
from kloof [1] (="steep valley", "gorge")
Cockatoo 
from kaketoe [44]
Coleslaw 
from koolsla (literally "cabbage salad") [45]
Commodore 
probably from Dutch kommandeur, from French commandeur, from Old French comandeor [46]
Cookie 
from koekje, or in informal Dutch koekie [47] (="biscuit", "cookie")
Coney Island 
from Conyne Eylandt (literally "Rabbits' Island")
Crimp 
from krimpen (= "to shrink") [1]
Cruise 
from Dutch kruisen (="to cross, sail to and fro"), from kruis (="cross") [48]
Cruller 
from Dutch krullen (="to curl") [49]

D

Dam 
from Middle Dutch dam (compare Amsterdam or Rotterdam) [50]
Dapper 
from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German dapper (="bold, strong, sturdy,") [51]
Deck 
from dek (originally "covering") [52]
Decoy 
from de kooi (="the cage," used of a pond surrounded by nets, into which wildfowl were lured for capture) [53]
Delftware 
from Delft, town in Holland where the glazed earthenware was made; the town named from its chief canal, from Dutch delf, (literally "ditch, canal"), which is related to Old English dælf and modern delve [54]
Dike 
from dijk (="embankment") [55]
Dock (maritime) 
from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German docke [56]
Domineer 
from Dutch domineren (="to rule") [57]
Dope 
old meaning "sauce," now "drugs," comes from the Dutch verb (in)dopen (usually ="to baptize," but here ="to dip in") [58]
Dredge 
from Scottish dreg-boat (="boat for dredging") or Middle Dutch dregghe (="drag-net"), one possibly from the other but hard to tell which came first; probably ultimately from root of drag [59]
Drill (verb) 
from Middle Dutch dril, drille and in modern Dutch drillen [60]
Drug 
from Old French drogue, perhaps from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German droge-vate (="dry barrels"), with first element mistaken as word for the contents (see dry goods), or because medicines mostly consisted of dried herbs [61]
Dune 
from Middle Dutch dune, before from Celtic dun (="hill"), in modern Dutch duin

E

Easel 
from ezel (=originally (and still) "donkey") [62]
Etch 
from ets or etsen [63]
Excise (noun) 
(="tax on goods") from Middle Dutch excijs, apparently altered from accijs (="tax"); English got the word, and the idea for the tax, from Holland [64]

F

Filibuster 
from Spanish filibustero from French flibustier ultimately from Dutch vrijbuiter (="pirate" or "freebooter") [65]
Flense 
from Danish flense or Dutch vlensen [66]
Foist 
from Dutch vuisten (="take in hand"), from Middle Dutch vuist (="fist") [67]
Forlorn hope 
from verloren hoop (literally "lost troop," figuratively "suicide mission," "cannon fodder") [68]
Freebooter 
from vrijbuiter [69]
Freight 
from vracht [70]
Frolic 
from vrolijk (="cheerful") [71]
Furlough 
from verlof (="permission (to leave)") [72]

G

Galoot 
(="awkward or boorish man"), originally a sailor's contemptuous word (="raw recruit, green hand") for soldiers or marines, of uncertain origin; "Dictionary of American Slang" proposes galut, Sierra Leone creole form of Spanish galeoto (="galley slave"); perhaps rather Dutch slang kloot (="testicle"), klootzak (="scrotum"), used figuratively as an insult [73]
Gas 
from gas, a neologism from Jan Baptista van Helmont, derived from the Greek chaos [74]
Geek 
from geck (gek) (="fool") [75] [76]
Gherkin 
from Dutch plural of gurk (="cucumber"), shortened form of East Frisian augurk [77]
Gimp (cord or thread) 
from Dutch gimp [78]
Gin 
from jenever [79]
Gnu 
from gnoe (from Bushman !nu) [80]
Golf 
from kolf (="bat, club," but also a game played with these) [1]
Grab 
from grijpen (="to seize, to grasp, to snatch") [81]
Gruff 
from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German grof (="coarse (in quality), thick, large") [82]
Guilder 
from gulden [83]

H

Hale (verb) 
(="drag, summon"), from Old Frankonian haler (="to pull, haul"), from Frankonian *halon or Old Dutch halen, both from Proto Germanic [84]
Hankering 
from Middle Dutch hankeren or Dutch hunkeren [85]
Harlem 
called after the city of Haarlem near Amsterdam
Hartebeest 
from Afrikaans, from Dutch hertebeest "antelope," from hert "deer" (cognate to "hart") + beest "beast" [86]
Hoboken 
possibly named after the Flemish town Hoboken, from Middle Dutch Hooghe Buechen or Hoge Beuken (="High Beeches" or "Tall Beeches")
[[wiktionary
howitzer|
Hottentot 
from South African Dutch, said to mean "stammerer," it is from hot en tot "hot and tot," nonsense words imitative of the clicking, jerking Khoisan speech [87]
Hoist 
possibly from Middle Dutch hijsen [88]
Holster 
from holster [89]
Hooky 
from hoekje (=corner) in the sense of "to go around the corner" [90]

I

Iceberg 
probably from Dutch ijsberg (literally ice mountain). [91]
Ietsism
from Dutch ietsisme (literally: somethingism) an unspecified faith in a higher or supernatural power or force
Isinglass 
probably from Dutch huizenblas (this is no current Dutch word) [92]

K

Keelhauling 
from kielhalen (literally "to haul keel")[93]
Keeshond 
prob. from special use of Kees (shortening of proper name Cornelius) + hond "dog" [94]
Kill (body of water) 
from kil from Middle Dutch kille (literally "riverbed") [95]
Kink 
from kink referring to a twist in a rope [96]
Knapsack 
possibly from knapzak (literally "bag of snacks") [97]
Knickerbocker 
The pen-name was borrowed from Washington Irving's friend Herman Knickerbacker, and literally means "toy marble-baker." Also descendants of Dutch settler of New York are referred to as Knickerbockers and later became used in reference to a style of pants [98]

L

Landscape 
from landschap [99]
Leak 
possibly from lekken (="to drip, to leak") [100]
Loafer 
from loper (="walker") ([101]
Luck 
from Middle Dutch luc, shortening of gheluc (="happiness, good fortune") [102]

M

Maelstrom 
from maalstroom (literally "grinding current" or "stirring current") (possibly Norse in origin) [103]
Manikin 
from Brabantian manneken (literally "little man") [104]
Mannequin 
via French from Dutch manneken (literally "little man") [105]
Mart 
from Middle Dutch marct (literally "market") (modern Dutch: markt) [106]
Measles 
possibly from Middle Dutch masel "blemish" (modern Dutch: mazelen) [107]
Meerkat 
from Dutch meerkat [108]
Morass 
from moeras (="swamp") [109]

O

Offal 
possibly from Middle Dutch afval (="leftovers, rubbish") [110]

P

Patroon
from patroon (="patron") [111]
Pickle 
c.1440, probably from Middle Dutch pekel [112]
Pinkie 
Pinkje/Pinkie [113]
Pit 
the stone of a drupaceous fruit : from pit [114]
Plug 
from plugge, originally a maritime term.[115]
Polder 
from polder
Poppycock 
from pappekak (=dialect for "soft dung") [116]
Pump 
from pomp [117]

Q

Quack 
shortened from quacksalver, from kwakzalver (literally "someone who daubs ointments") [118]

R

Roster 
from rooster (="schedule, or grating/grill") [119]
Rover
from rover (="robber") [120]
Rucksack 
from dutch "rugzak" (sack on the back, 'rug' = back, 'sack' = sack) like American backpack

S

Santa Claus 
from Middle Dutch Sinterklaas (="Saint Nicholas"), bishop of Asia Minor who became a patron saint for children. (Dutch and Flemish feast celebrated on the 5th and 6th of December respectively) (Origins of Santa Claus in US culture)[121]
Scone 
from schoon (="clean") [122]
Scow 
from schouw (a type of boat) [123]
Shoal 
from Middle Dutch schole (="large number (of fish)") (etymology not sure)
Skate 
from schaats. The noun was originally adopted as in Dutch, with 'skates' being the singular form of the noun; due to the similarity to regular English plurals this form was ultimately used as the plural while 'skate' was derived for use as singular." [124]
Sketch 
from schets [125]
to Scour 
from Middle Dutch scuren (now "schuren") [126]
Skipper 
from Middle Dutch scipper (now schipper, literally "shipper") [127]
Sled, sleigh 
from Middle Dutch slede, slee [128]
Slim 
"thin, slight, slender," from Dutch slim "bad, sly, clever," from Middle Dutch slim "bad, crooked," [129]
Sloop 
from sloep [130]
Slurp 
from slurpen [131]
Smack (boat) 
possibly from smak "sailboat," perhaps so-called from the sound made by its sails [132]
Smelt 
from smelten (="to melt") [133]
Smuggler 
from Low German smuggeln or Dutch smokkelen (="to transport (goods) illegally"), apparently a frequentative formation of a word meaning "to sneak" [134]
Snack 
perhaps from Middle Dutch snakken (="to long" (snakken naar lucht="to gasp for air") originally "to eat"/"chatter") [135]
Snoop 
from snoepen (to eat (possibly in secret) something sweet) [136]
Snuff 
from snuiftabak (literally "sniff tobacco") [137]
Splinter 
from splinter [138]
Split 
from Middle Dutch splitten [139]
Spook 
from spook (="ghost(ly image)") [140]
Stoker 
from stoken (="stoke a fire") [141]
Stern 
hind part of a ship related to Steven in Dutch and Stiarn in Frisian [142]
Still life 
from Dutch stilleven [143]
Stoop (steps) 
from stoep (="flight of steps, doorstep") [144]
Stockfish 
from Dutch stokvis (= "stick fish")
Stove 
from Middle Dutch stove (="heated room"). The Dutch word stoof, pronounced similarly, is a small (often wooden) box with holes in it. One would place glowing coals inside so it would emanate heat, and then put one's feet on top of it while sitting (in a chair) to keep one's feet warm. [145]
Sutler
from zoetelaar (="one who sweetens", sweetener, old-fashioned for "camp cook") [146]

T

Tattoo (military term) 
from taptoe (literally "close the tap"). So called because police used to visit taverns in the evening to shut off the taps of casks. [147]
Tickle 
from kietelen [148]
Trek 
from trekken (via Afrikaans) (literally "to march" or "to travel") [149]
Trigger 
from trekker (Trekken ="to pull") [150]
Tulip 
from tulp [151]

V

Veldt 
South African grassland, 1785, from Afrikaans, from older Dutch veld (="field") [152]

W

Waffle (noun) 
from Dutch wafel, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German wafel [153]
Walrus 
from walrus [154]
Wagon 
from Middle Dutch wagen, waghen (="cart, carriage, wagon") [155]
Wiggle 
from wiggelen (="to wobble, to wiggle") or wiegen (="to rock") [156]
Wildebeest 
from wildebeest (literally wild beast, via Afrikaans) [157]
Witloof 
from witlof (literally wit "white" + loof "foliage") [158]

Y

Yacht 
from obsolete Dutch jaght, from Middle Low German jacht, short for jachtschip (literally "hunting ship") [159]
Yankee 
from Jan Kees, a personal name, originally used mockingly to describe pro-French revolutionary citizens, with allusion to the small keeshond dog, then for "colonials" in New Amsterdam (Note: this is not the only possible etymology for the word yankee. For one thing, the Oxford English Dictionary has quotes with the term from as early as 1765, quite some time before the French Revolution.) [160]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Het verhaal van een taal, negen eeuwen nederlands, http://www.pbo.nl

See also

External links

 

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z







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Published - January 2009


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